Why Did Men Enter Into The Military In 1914

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Between 1914 and 1915, Britain raised one of the largest volunteer army’s in history, but whether men enlisted into the army because of their patriotic values, or because they were coerced into doing so by various factors, has been the subject of debate amongst many historians. Before the introduction of conscription in 1916, all those who joined the armed forces did so voluntarily. Britain saw 2.5 million men enlisting to serve in the army during this time, which was around 25 percent of all those eligible. The traditional view of the volunteers that enlisted during the early years of the war have been seen as a patriotic rush to colours, but Niall Ferguson maintains that the mood being one of ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘euphoria’ at the beginning of the war is misleading.…show more content…
The Pals battalions were an essential part of Kitchener’s army and there were 115 Pals battalions raised altogether, including the Accrington Pals and the Stockbrokers Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers - the latter had begun to recruit by 21st August 1914, having an early influence on recruitment figures. The Pals battalions were made up of men from the same communities or work places, and in this sense it encouraged men to be more willing to enlist by allowing them to express their patriotism in a form of local identity. Men arguably would have been more enthusiastic to enlist if they knew they would be fighting on the battlefields surrounded by familiar people. Ferguson states that the importance of the Pals battalions cannot be underestimated or dismissed. The War Office encouraged the formation of Pals battalions during the early months as it was evident that the formation of these battalions had helped to stimulate a rise in enlistments due to the correlation of the first Pals battalions being formed to the initial wave of volunteers in

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